Fallow state, the Gardeners would say. They used that diagnosis for a wide range of conditions, from depression to post-traumatic stress to being permanently stoned. The theory was that while in a Fallow state you were gathering and conserving strength, nourishing yourself through meditation, sending invisible rootlets out into the universe.

Behind the studied blankness of her gaze, revolt must have been simmering. I recognized that surliness, that stubbornness, that captive-princess indignation, which must be kept hidden until enough weapons have been collected.

He knows this by the way the girl stumbles, and it occurs to him for the first time that by taking her with him he’ll be slowed down. He’ll be hampered by her ability to see.

buttons were made from wood and bone, and the fancier ones from cow horns. These last two materials could be obtained for next to nothing from the several abattoirs in the vicinity, and as for the wood, it lay all round about, clogging up the land, and

Daughters of Naiads were a dime a dozen in those days; the place was crawling with them. Nevertheless, it never hurts to be of semi-divine birth. Or it never hurts immediately.

Then there’s the two
of us. This word
is far too short for us, it has only
four letters, too sparse
to fill those deep bare
vacuums between the stars
that press on us with their deafness.
It’s not love we don’t wish
to fall into, but that fear.
This word is not enough but it will
have to do. It’s a single
vowel in this metallic
silence, a mouth that says
O again and again in wonder
and pain, a breath, a finger
grip on a cliffside. You can
hold on or let go.

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